Monthly Archives: June 2009
Québec by-elections 2009
The Canadian province of Québec held two provincial by-elections on June 22, 2009. One was held in the Montreal-area riding of Marguerite-Bourgeoys, following the retirement of the Liberal finance minister. The riding is an ultra-safe seat, which is very federalist and 30% Anglophone. The other by-election was held in Rivière-du-Loup, following the resignation of Mario Dumont, the once-successful leader of the once-successful conservative ADQ. Dumont had held the seat for a long time with huge majorities.
Clément Gignanc (Liberal) 72.32%
Christine Normandin (PQ) 17.03%
Diane Charbonneau (ADQ) 3.70%
Leclerc, Julien (Green) 2.80%
Black St-Laurent, Valérie (QS) 2.47%
Sylvie R. Tremblay (IND) 0.70%
Érik Poulin (PI) 0.61%
Régent Millette (IND) 0.37%
Liberal Majority: 55.28%
Jean D’Amour (Liberal) 47.69%
Paul Crête (PQ) 35.69%
Côté, Gilberte (ADQ) 14.67%
Martin Poirier (Green) 0.71%
Victor-Lévy Beaulieu (IND) 0.44%
Benoît Renaud (QS) 0.42%
Denis Couture (Finanical Reform) 0.20%
Éric Tremblay (PI) 38 0.18%
Liberal Majority: 12.00%
Liberal gain from ADQ
An important defeat for the PQ in Rivière-du-Loup, a 99% Franco and relatively nationalist – though conservative – constituency. Talking heads say this is due Marois’ new plan for a “sovereign Québec” and former Premier Jacques Parizeau saying an economic crisis is perfect time for independence (words which Charest, the Liberal Premier, did not hesitate to spin).
If you ever needed proof the ADQ was a one-man party a la Forza Italia, there you have it. The party may continue to exist officially, but it’s practically dead. This plus their fringe result in Marguerite-Bourgeoys only serves to prove that Québec is returning, for now, to a quite strict two-party system.
Italy held three referendums and runoff elections for a number of provinces and municipalities on Sunday and Monday June 21 and 22, 2009.
The three-fold referendum seeked to change the majority bonus in Italian general elections from a coalition bonus to a bonus for the largest party. This part was Question 1 (Chamber) and 2 (Senate). Question 3 would prevent candidates from standing in multiple constituencies. Questions 1 and 2 would gradually transform Italy into a two-party (PD and PdL) system and weaken these parties’ respective coalition allies (IdV and Lega Nord). The PD supports this, Berlusconi privately supports it but didn’t campaign in favour since he didn’t want to piss off his Lega Nord (very picky) allies. The referendum required 50% turnout to pass.
Turnout was only 23%, so the referendums were invalid.
There were 22 provincial runoffs, out of 62 provinces voting (the first round being held the same day as the Euros). Provinces have relatively few powers, much less powers than the regions do atleast. Most of these provinces (two, I think, were new) voted in 2004 – which was a peak in anti-Berlusconi sentiment – the left won 50 and the right won 9 (including 1 Lega Nord won independently of the Italian right). 2009 could only be a realignment and return to electoral normalcy.
In notable provincial results, the left held Torino by an impressive margin and narrowly lost Milan, Venice, and Lecce. The right’s narrow victory in Milan and Venice – two traditionally right-wing provinces – is good news for the left.
The left won very pleasing results in the local elections, they won 16 of the provincial capitals voting, the right won 14. In other cities, the left won 107, the right won 70. 12 cities were won by Independent lists (Lista Civica), 3 by the Lega Nord (independently of the right), and 3 by the centre (UDC). In the first round, the right had forced the left into runoffs in Florence and Bologna, in which the left ate the right’s candidates alive. The left also won Bari and Padova, other pleasing results for them.
There was an undeniable shift to the left in these runoffs, and this saves the PD from extinction, and some predicted that very poor elections would spell the end of the PD experiment.
Europe 2009: How it ends
I’ve analyzed as best I could the European results by member state using each national party with little references to Europarties and Eurogroups. Europe-wide results have been a little conflicting due to problems in classifying parties by group. I’ll use the European Parliament’s numbers for this analysis:
EPP 264 (including 1 Italian PD-SVP)
ALDE 80 (excluding Cypriot DIKO)
Others 93 (including British Tories , Italian PD , Czech ODS )
On these numbers, Independence and Democracy is dead – below the 25 seat threshold and it’s left with MEPs from only four countries (seven needed). In addition, 72% of the remaining ID members are UKIP MEPs. UEN could survive on these numbers because it has MEPs from seven countries. However, the Irish FF is included (it’s certain they’ll join ALDE) and the Polish Law and Justice (15 MEPs) is very likely to join the British Conservatives’ new neo-liberal Eurosceptic grouping – probably named European Conservatives – along with the Czech ODS. While they won’t have any trouble breaking the 25-seat threshold, they need MEPs from seven countries. I see the following parties joining:
Lijst Dedecker (Flanders): 1 MEP (counted in Others)
ODS (Czech Republic): 9 MEPs (Others)
Danish People’s Party (Denmark): 2 MEPs (UEN)
Lega Nord (Italy): 9 MEPs (UEN)
TB/LNNK (Latvia): 1 MEP (UEN)
Civic Union (Latvia): 2 MEPs (UEN)
Order and Justice (Lithuania): 2 MEPs (UEN)
CU-SGP (Netherlands): 2 MEPs (ID)
Law and Justice (Poland): 15 MEPs (UEN)
Conservatives and UUP (UK): 26 MEPs (Others)
9 Countries: 69 MEPs
IND/DEM 16 (2 LAOS, 1 Libertas, 13 UKIP)
UEN 4 (3 Irish FF and 1 Slovakian SNS)
Others 56 (including Italian PD )
Now, a few changes. The Euro Parl results count the Cypriot Democratic Party (1 MEP) as Others, though it has announced it would join PES. Ireland’s Fianna Fail will join ALDE. The Italian PD has 21 MEPs (one MEP, a member of the South Tyrolean SVP, will join EPP) in Others who will probably join the renamed PES group – Alliance of Socialists and Democrats for Europe (ASDE). The Latvian Harmony Centre will do likewise. I assume Joe Higgins (Socialist Party-Ireland) and Elie Hoarau (AOM-France) will join the EUL-NGL. Assuming they all do what I think they’ll do, here is the new arithmetic.
UEN 1 (1 Slovakian SNS)
The Others are mainly far-right and Indies. You’re left with the Vlaams Belang, the Bulgarian Ataka, Indrek Tarand from Estonia, the French FN, Lithuanian Poles, Hungarian and British Nazis, the Dutch Wilders PVV, Hans-Peter Martin and the FPÖ in Austria, the Romanian PRM, Finnish True Finns, the Pirates, the Spanish UPyD, one DUPer from Ulster, and ĽS-HZDS from Slovakia. I could then assume the one Lithuanian Pole to join the Greens-EFA, bringing the Greenies up to 54 and others to 29. It is unlikely the UPyD will join the Liberals since they’d be sitting with their mortal enemies, Catalan and Basque nationalists. Tarand is being floated around as a possible member of the new EC-MER group as is ĽS-HZDS. If they do join, you have 28 Others and 71 EC-MER. In the end, the Non-Inscrits would the far-right, Martin’s 3 MEPs, UPyD, Pirates, True Finns, and also the UKIP, LAOS, and Philippe de Villiers from the defunct ID and the Slovakian SNS from UEN. The far-right is very unlikely to form a group due to lack of possible members. These could end up being the new parliamentary groups:
Anyways, this is just speculation on my part and I could end up all wrong.
This mostly ends the Europe 2009 election season for my part. See you in 2014. Dear, that’s a long time.
Iran and Lebanon 2009
Lebanon voted on June 7 to renew its 128-seat unicameral Parliament. Under the terms of the Doha Agreement, Maronite Christians have 34 seats, Shi’a Muslims and Sunni Muslims have 27 each, Greek Orthodox have 14, Druzes have 8, Greek Catholics also have 8, Armenian Orthodox have 5, Alawites have 2, Protestants have one and “other Christians” have 2.
The Parliament has been classified in two blocs – the March 14 Alliance composed of pro-Western followers of the late Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri (led by his son, Saad Hariri) and most Christian parties and, on the other hand, the March 8 Alliance composed of pro-Syrian parties including most notably the Hezbollah Islamist party.
According to Naharnet, the March 14 Alliance has 68 MPs, March 8 has 57 MPs, and there are 3 Independents. The Future Bloc led by Saad Hariri has 28 MPs, the Hezbollah’s Christian ally Reform and Change Bloc has 27 MPs. The Hezbollah-led Resistance Bloc has 11 MPs. The Christian March 14 members, the Lebanese Forces and the Phalangists (Kataeb Party) have 5 MPs each.
Iran’s presidential election has obviously been a lot in the news lately, though most Western media coverage has been poor at best and the best source of information probably remains student protestors on Twitter and other sites like those. Nick Silver’s American 538.com blog has also done a very good job at covering the electoral statistical part of this, and possibly at proving how this election has been rigged by Ahmadinejad’s supporters. My job has mostly been done for me, so I will only repost the supposed results of this “election”.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Conservative) 62.23%
Mir-Hossein Mousavi (Reformist) 33.75%
Moshen Rezaee (Conservative) 1.73%
Mehdi Karroubi (Reformist) 0.85%
And also a supposed “map” of this “election”.
New Zealand: Mount Albert by-election 2009
A by-election in the New Zealand electorate of Mount Albert was held on June 13. The seat was vacated by former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark, who resigned following her nomination to head the UNDP. The Mount Albert electorate is based around the neighbourhoods of western and central Auckland City. It includes the suburbs of Point Chevalier, Kingsland, Avondale, Waterview, as well as the eponymous Mount Albert. It has been held by Labour since its creation in 1946; Helen Clark was its representative from 1981 until 2009 and enjoyed a large majority in Mt Albert. Clark’s Labour government was defeated in the 2008 election and John Key of the centre-right National Party is now Prime Minister, in a coalition including the libertarian ACT, the centrist United Future and the Māori Party.
David Shearer (Labour) 63.10% (+3.81%)
Melissa Lee (National) 17.14% (-11.7%)
Russell Norman (Green) 12.09% (+6.15%)
John Boscawen (ACT) 4.72% (+2.35%)
None of the other 11 candidates broke 1%
Despite the apperances, this isn’t really a big deal for the governing Nationals. They knew that they had no chance and gave up on this by-election. The Key government has good poll ratings.
Europe 2009: French Results and Analysis
This is the final posts on country-by-country overviews of the European election results. We end with France, where I’m able lots more analysis. We’ll start out with results:
UMP 27.87% (+11.23%) winning 29 seats (+12)
PS 16.48% (-12.42%) winning 14 seats (-17)
Europe Ecologie – The Greens 16.28% (+8.87%) winning 14 seats (+8)
MoDem 8.45% (-4.08%) winning 6 seats (-5)
Left Front – Alliance of the Overseas 6.47% (+0.59%) winning 5 seats (+2)
FN 6.34% (-3.47%) winning 3 seats (-4)
NPA 4.88% (+2.32%)
Libertas 4.8% (-3.6%) winning 1 seat (-2)
Independent Ecological Alliance 3.63% (+1.72%)
t/o: 40.65% (-2.14%)
UMP in blue, PS in red, Greens-EE in green, Left Front in the last red
Results by Euro Constituency (all those breaking 5% and the closest to 5%)
Nord-Ouest: UMP 24.22% (4), PS 18.1% (2), Greens 12.1% (1), FN 10.18% (1), MD 8.67% (1), Left 6.84% (1), NPA 5.8%, Libertas 4.26%
Ouest: UMP 27.16% (3), PS 17.29% (2), Greens 16.65% (2), Libertas 10.27% (1), MD 8.48% (1), NPA 5.13%, Left 4.58%
Est: UMP 29.20% (4), PS 17.24% (2), Greens 14.28% (1), MD 9.44% (1), FN 7.57% (1), NPA 5.64%, AEI 4.26%
Sud-Ouest: UMP 26.89% (4), PS 17.72% (2), Greens 15.83% (2), MD 8.61% (1), Left 8.16% (1), FN 5.94%, NPA 5.62%, AEI 4.24%
Sud-Est: UMP 29.34% (4), Greens 18.27% (3), PS 14.49% (2), FN 8.49% (1), MD 7.37% (1), Left 5.9% (1), NPA 4.33%
Massif Central-Centre: UMP 28.51% (3), PS 17.79% (1), Greens 13.58% (1), MD 8.15%, Left 8.06%, NPA 5.45%, FN 5.12%, Libertas 4.9%
Ile-de-France: UMP 29.6% (5), Greens 20.86% (4), PS 13.58% (2), MD 8.52% (1), Left 6.32% (1), FN 4.40%
Outre Mer: UMP 29.69% (1), Left-AOM 21.02% (1), PS 20.27% (1), Greens 16.25%, MD 9.29%, Libertas 2.88%
The results are pleasing for mainly two parties. Firstly, the UMP, a governing party winning, despite it being a weak victory, in an economic crisis in France is undeniably a remarkable feat. It is the first time since the UDF’s victory in 1979 that the presidential party has won the European elections. However, the most remarkable result of the night is that of the Greens and their Europe Écologie outfit. Their victory comes with the destruction of the Socialist Party, which finds itself in the same situation as it was between 1992 and 1995. The PS has been divided by the Reims Congress in November 2008, they have failed to offer any sort of platform since then, and their campaign has been hypocritical and very poor. The Green’s competition came also from Bayrou’s MoDem, though Bayrou destroyed his chances by calling Daniel Cohn-Bendit a pedophile in a TV debate. There are also socio-economic causes for the Greenies surprise wins, which I’ll explain later.
The UMP has won, that’s undeniable. However, this is quite a Pyrrhic victory for them. Their 28% is below Sarkozy’s 31% in April 2007, but Sarkozy had atleast Le Pen’s 10.4% as a vote reserve for the runoff then. Today, the UMP is totally isolated. The closest to them is Philippe de Villiers’ Libertas and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan’s DLR, but that’s statistically irrelevant. The regional elections in 2010, while the UMP will certainly gain (it would be quasi-impossible to fall lower than their disastrous 2004 levels), the new system in use since 2004 is a classic two-round system. Winning 28% won’t suffice to cry victory anymore. The UMP has unarguably moved farther east/southeast, though to my surprise, the UMP’s gains in the old moderate right departments (Lozère, Aveyron, Val-de-Loire region) have been about the same as the UMP’s gains in the East. Sarkozy’s gains with manual workers in 2007 have been quasi-eliminated, with the biggest drops recorded in those hard hit by the recession (Oise, Moselle, Pas-de-Calais). The UMP seems to have lost a few Le Pen voters who have returned to the FN fold (though these loses seem limited to the North West and Alpes-Maritimes). The map also shows a relatively strong Baudis effect in the South West, though it’s much weaker than the similar effect in 1994. The UMP’s top candidates in the South West but also Massif-Centre have proved to be better candidates than Sarkozy and the important improvements on Sarko’s performance have come in those departments of Chiraquie/Pompidolie and “Baudisie”. Maine-et-Loire’s improvement is due to a strong favourite son effect for the top candidate, the President of the Maine-et-Loire CG, Christophe Béchu, which has been relatively confined to his department though Béchu was undoubtedly a fine candidate for the Ouest as a whole. However, there has been a Royal effect in Poitou-Charentes, with the UMP’s gains more limited in that region and the PS (the list was led by a local ally of Royal) performing above average.
The PS has lost because it lost a key category, middle-class generally well-off educated urban voters, to the Greens. The Greater Paris region is a perfect example. Also look at the poor showings in the Rhone (Lyon), Bouches-du-Rhone (Marseille), Isere (Grenoble – one of the most Green cities in France), Ille-et-Vilaine (Rennes), Gironde (Bordeaux), Bas-Rhin (Strasbourg), Herault (Montpellier – another quite Green city). Loire-Atlantique is probably due to Saint-Nazaire’s industrial region since the well-off areas voted Green. Their strongest departments are more rural or industrialized (lower-class blue collar) than average (where Greenies don’t poll well). Also, losing Nièvre (Mitterrand’s home turf, where the PS has maitained its dominance even without its founder) is a sign of an extremely bad election. They lost it in the 1992 regionals, 1993 legislatives, 1994 Euros.
A mix old Greenie strongholds in Savoie, Brittany, the Greater Grenoble-Lyon area, and Alsace; and recent success in urban areas (on the back of the centre-leftist weakly Socialist middle-class switching from PS to Greenies, a la 1992 and 1993). The seemingly ‘poor’ result in Alsace is due to Waechter’s list, which got 5.85% in Bas-Rhin and 7% in Haut-Rhin. When comparing the sum of EE+AEI in Alsace, you’re very much above the Greenies’ 1989 result. You also have an important favourite son effect for the various top candidates. Aveyron for Bove, Drome for Rivasi (she represented Valence between 1997 and 2002), Guadeloupe for Durimel. The Green success in Corse is due to the fact that a member of the Corsican PNC (Francois Alfonsi, now MEP) was second on Rivasi’s list. The Greenies almost won Corse-du-Sud, in fact. As expected, the industrial areas of the North and East and the left-wing rural areas of the Massif-Central are not fertile land for the Greenies. Neither are areas where the CPNT is powerful (Somme, Manche, Gironde’s result is too influenced by Bordeaux and its agglomeration for it to come out). The Greenies have regained strength lost in 2004 in Ile-de-France. They probably took most of CAP21’s vote in the constituency in 2004 in addition to the middle-class urban block described above (especially important in Ile-de-France, much more so than a joke like CAP21).
To prove the urban vote theory, here are some staggering numbers of major cities:
Paris: UMP 29.97, Greens 27.46, PS 14.69, MoDem 8.31, Left 5.05
Lyon: UMP 30.84, Greens 23.7, PS 15.51, MD 8.74
Rennes: Greens 27.41, UMP 21.87, PS 19.81, MD 8.54, Left 6.04
Montpellier: UMP 24.5, Greens 23.16, PS 17.1, Left 7.64, MD 7.61, FN 5.64, NPA 5.54
Mulhouse: UMP 26.35, Greens 18.05, PS 16.22, FN 10, MD 8.64
Bordeaux: UMP 31.54, Greens 22.34, PS 15, MD 9.25, Left 5.99
Marseille: UMP 27.85, Greens 16.33, PS 15.89, FN 11.6, Left 7.84, MD 6.17
Grenoble: Greens 29.04, UMP 21.22, PS 19.09, MD 7.52, Left 6.87
Toulouse: UMP 30.07, Greens 22.05, PS 16.96, Left 7.92, MD 7.45, NPA 5.17
Nantes: UMP 25.78, Greens 25.54, PS 17.95, MD 8.18, Libertas 5.27
Neuilly: UMP 65.17, Greens 11.83, MD 5.95
Versailles: UMP 43.41, Greens 15.4, MD 9.67, Libertas 8.05, PS 7.84
Le Havre: UMP 21.84, Greens 17.66, PS 12.94, PCF 10.62, FN 8.26, NPA 5.6
Annecy: UMP 31.55, Greens 23.19, PS 12.69, MD 9.06, FN 5.67
Strasbourg: UMP 27.84, PS 23.36, Greens 21, MD 9.87, FN 5.06
The MoDem’s electorate is very loose and has shifting loyalties (goes well with its leader, I suppose). Along with the PS, they lost the urban vote I described above, to the Greenies. Unsurprising and a very uniform map. The remnants of the UDF map plus a surprisingly strong vote for Lepage in Normandie (she was councillor of a town in the Calvados), a favourite son vote for Bruno Joncour in Cotes-d’Armor (he’s the Mayor and was second on the list). Tarn is a bit weird, but the MoDem’s number 2 on the Sud Ouest list is Mayor of a city there (Puylaurens) and an incumbent MEP (defeated now). Results in the Greater Paris, Greater Lyon (the UDF was rather strong here) and Centre are deceiving. The MoDem’s map is shifting away from the UDF map more to a personal vote map, especially with the MoDem’s continued high performances in Bayrou’s home turn, Pyrenées-Atlantiques.
Some strong showings in the old PCF lands, especially the Red Rural areas (Limousin, Allier) plus the Gard (old PCF stronghold), Cher (ditto, but less so). The PCF still dominates the far-left share of the workers’ vote, unsurprisingly little NPA breakthrough there. They’re far stronger than Besancenot’s bunch in the NPDC region. I don’t see what the Left Party/Mélenchon adds. I thought the Ariège and Hautes-Pyrenées at first, but there’s a sizeable PCF vote there, though this year’s showing is quite high. The only interesting “additions” outside of the PCF realm are maybe the Landes (Emmanuelli, a member of the PS’ hard left which has not joined the PG). Even Indre-et-Loire and… Lozère have some Communist strenght. In the former, in Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (a poor industrial Tours suburb) and in the Red Cévennes in the latter.
The strong FN vote is not returning strongly in Alsace or Lorraine. It seems more of a return to a 1986-style map (Pieds-Noir territory plus some strength out East) plus Nord Ouest (I assume a fair share of FN voters who voted for Sarkozy in 2007 have returned due to the recession hitting harder there than elsewhere). The FN is obviously dead out West, but that isn’t news. However, I would note that the FN has done best where its old figures were on top – Marine Le Pen did quite well in the Nord Ouest and JMLP in the Sud Est. In fact, the differences between the Orne (in Marine’s constituency) and an old FN stronghold like Eure-et-Loir (Massif-Centre) are interesting.
Unsurprising far-left map, but there’s a number of interesting intricacies in this map. Firstly, the decline of the old “Maoist”/young crazy revolutionary vote in the Greater Paris which probably went Green. The NPA’s share of the vote in Ile-de-France is very bad for them. I remember reading somewhere that the NPA was becoming more working class and less young revolutionary idiot than the LCR was. I would note the poor results in the NPDC, proof if there is of the NPA not breaking through with blue collar workers, though the results in industrial Lorraine seem pretty solid. As always, a fair share of the modern far-left vote used to vote PCF in the ’80’s and early ’90’s and have started to vote for Trots (Laguiller then Besancenot) since 2002 if not before. Reflected on the map. Overall, not very promising at all. You have them losing votes in the far-left’s traditional Nordistes strongholds and also loosing the young (and well-off, o/c) revolutionary vote in urban areas. A very unstructured map, though the NPA doesn’t give me the impression that elections are a big thing for them.
Traditional de Villiers map for the Ouest with his results declining the father out you get from Montaigu. The CPNT effect has been quite minimal, visible only in the Somme, Manche. A lot of the Hunters vote went FN or UMP, probably the latter more than the former. Marie-Claude Bompard was second on Patrick Louis’ list and could explain the Vaucluse result. The Est results probably also based on favourite sons.
Random statistics for other interesting lists:
The FN dissident (the We Hate Marine Le Pen group) did very poorly. Carl Lang got 1.52% in the North West and Jean-Claude Martinez got 0.92% in the South West. A list supported by Carl Lang’s Party of France got 1.88%. Anti-Zionist got 1.3% in Ile-de-France (2.83% in the 93). Parti Breton: 2.36% in Bretagne (5 departments), EAJ: 1.98% in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques,
Batasuna: 2.70% in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques. The old CNIP got 0.07% nationally, definitely a good start for a great future! Newropeans got 0.01% nationally, beaten by the Stalinists (0.02%) and Royalists (0.02% also). The biggest losers are some list called Programme contre la précarité et le sexisme, winning a great 24 votes nationally.
Europe 2009: United Kingdom Results
As expected, the UK Euro results were marked by an unprecedented defeat for the governing Labour Party and also a drop in already very low turnout (though much smaller than earlier predicted, thankfully). Euro elections in the UK are held in twelve regional constituencies with a threshold of 5% in each, with seats allocated through proportional representation. Only Northern Ireland uses the single-transferable vote system, which is also used in all other Northern Irish elections. Prior to 1999, the UK was the only European country to elect MEPs via FPTP. The UK’s delegation has been reduced from 75 to 72 since 2004. For that reason, the results table gives the seat change including the loss of 3 seats nationally but also (second number) the relative seat change, using results for 72 seats in 2004.
Conservative 27.7% (+1.0%) winning 25 seats (-2/+1)
UKIP 16.5% (+0.3%) winning 13 seats (+1/+1)
Labour 15.7% (-6.9%) winning 13 seats (-6/-5)
Liberal Democrats 13.7% (-1.2%) winning 11 seats (-1/+1)
Green Party 8.6% (+2.4%) winning 2 seats (nc)
British National Party 6.2% (+1.3%) winning 2 seats (+2/+2)
Scottish National Party 2.1% (-+0.7%) winning 2 seats (nc)
Plaid Cymru 0.8% (-0.1%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Results by region (all parties over 5% and the best party under 5%):
South East England: Con 34.8% (4), UKIP 18.8% (2), LD 14.1% (2), Green 11.6% (1), Lab 8.2% (1), BNP 4.4%
London: Con 27.4% (3), Lab 21.3% (2), LD 13.7% (1), Green 10.9% (1), UKIP 10.8% (1), BNP 4.9%
North West England: Con 25.6% (3), Lab 20.4% (2), UKIP 15.8% (1), LD 14.3% (1), BNP 8% (1), Green 7.7%, ED 2.4%
East of England: Con 31.2% (3), UKIP 19.6% (2), LD 13.8% (1), Lab 10.5% (1), Green 8.8%, BNP 6.1%, UK First 2.4%
South West England: Con 30.2% (3), UKIP 22.1% (2), LD 17.2% (1), Green 9.3%, Lab 7.7%, BNP 3.9%
West Midlands: Con 28.1% (2), UKIP 21.3% (2), Lab 17% (1), LD 12% (1), BNP 8.6%, Green 6.2%, ED 2.3%
Yorkshire and the Humber: Con 24.5% (2), Lab 18.8% (1), UKIP 17.4% (1), LD 13.2% (1), BNP 9.8% (1), Green 8.5%, ED 2.6%
Scotland: SNP 29.1% (2), Lab 20.8% (2), Con 16.8% (1), LD 11.5% (1), Green 7.3%, UKIP 5.2%, BNP 2.5%
East Midlands: Con 30.2% (2), Lab 16.9% (1), UKIP 16.4% (1), LD 12.3% (1), BNP 8.7%, Green 6.8%, ED 2.3%
Wales: Con 21.2% (1), Lab 20.3% (1), Plaid 18.5% (1), UKIP 12.8% (1), LD 10.7%, Green 5.6%, BNP 5.4%, Christian 1.9%
North East England: Lab 25% (1), Con 19.8% (1), LD 17.6% (1), UKIP 15.4%, BNP 8.9%, Green 5.8%, ED 2.2%
Northern Ireland: SF 26% (1), DUP 18.2% (1), UCU-F 17.1% (1), SDLP 16.2%, TUV 13.6%, Alliance 5.6%, Green 3.2%
The map and result table above show the extent of the Labour rout. Third place, behind UKIP, and losing in Labour’s historic strongholds. In the south of England, they’ve been reduced, at the Euro level atleast, to a fringe party left fighting with the Greenies. In Cornwall for example, Labour is in sixth – behind the Greenies and Mebyon Kernow (Cornish autonomists, who polled an excellent 7%)! Their only “wins” are in urban areas in the populated areas of central and northern England (Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, County Durham). At this point, Labour seems to be a purely urban/industrial party. The Conservatives, however, are quite far from a real landslide in the popular vote, with less than 30%. They break 40% in only a few places and 50% only in Gibraltar. However, in a general election, one would expect a lot of the UKIP vote to go to the Conservatives (and Labour to a lesser extent and to a much, much lesser extent, the LibDems). Not too bad a night for the Greenies, with a nice vote increase and first place in the wealthy liberal cities of Brighton & Hove, Oxford and Norwich. However, they must be pretty angry at missing out on seats in Scotland, North West, East, South West and a second seat in the South East. They’re perfectly right that a national constituency, used in most countries, would produce real proportional results and not fake proportional. On a very sad note for sanity and non-fascists, the British National (or Nazi) Party got not one MEP, but two MEPs. Including an outright racist and former Nazi (real one, I’m not using it as an insult), Andrew Brons, in Yorkshire and the Humber. Nick Griffin was elected in the North West (a massive campaign to prevent his election, led notably by the Greenies, failed). Griffin is not any better than Brons (the same can be said for any BNPer, really).
Terrible results for Labour in it’s Celtic heartlands of Scotland and Wales. In Scotland, the SNP seems to have replaced Labour, for the time being atleast, as Scotland’s natural governing party. The SNP has won pleasing results in urban Labour areas (the Glasgow-Edinburgh belt). Labour’s defeat in Wales by the Conservatives is even more spectacular, Wales having voted for Labour since 1918. Even in Labour’s Welsh strongholds north of Cardiff, they’re not even breaking 35%. In Rhondda, where they polled 68% in the 2005 general election, they’re polling 34.7% today. However, the results in Wales are only encouraging to the Tories, who are on track to stack up a number of gains in the next general election. Plaid is obviously on track to re-gain Ceredigion, but they’ve fallen flat on their noses due to their coalition with Labour in Cardiff.
The result maps for Scotland are by local government area and in Wales, they’re by 2005 Westminster constituency.
The Northern Irish results are not really that groundbreaking and the claims of a massive historical defeat for unionists is laughable. While Sinn Féin is certainly far ahead, they’re polling slightly below their 2004 level and the other nationalist party, the SDLP has only marginally improved. The only reason the DUP has taken such a hit is because Jim Allister’s Traditional Unionists have done well (13.5% on FPVs). The Ulster Unionists-Conservatives have marginally improved on the UUP’s 2004 result. Overall, the seat distribution remains unchanged and the votes stand at nats 41.9% (42.2% in 2004) vs. unionists at 48.6% (48.5% in 2004). Alliance candidates or an Indie supported by the Alliance in 2004 took 5.5% in 2009 and 6.6% in 2004. The Alliance, close to the LibDems, claim to be independent of the nat/unionist divide and non-sectarian. IIRC, their preferences generally split more favourably for unionists (though the split is pretty even).
Europe 2009: Belgium
Belgium had a busy election day on June 7, with regional elections for all regional governments (four in total) and European elections. The regional elections overshadowed the Euros by far, due to their possible long-reaching effects on the federal governance of the very divided country.
Instead of using the stupid names adopted by the various parties and because I long for a return to the old 1950s political setup in Belgium, I’ve decided to classify the parties as Catholic (the old PSC-CVP – CDV in Flanders, CDH in Wallonia), Liberals (the old Liberal Party – Open VLD in Flanders, MR in Wallonia), and Socialists (the old PSB-BSP – SP.a in Flanders, PS in Wallonia). Do note, however, that while the Liberals and Socialists have links cross-community, the CDV has no relation to the CDH – the CDV has become more and more of a Flemish autonomist (some will say nationalist, even) party and the CDH has gradually abandoned its Catholic Party roots. Other parties include the far-right nationalist Vlaams Belang, the conservative New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) [in 2004, the N-VA had an electoral cartel with the CDV] and the Fortuynist Lijst Dedecker; all of which are often considered to be Flemish nationalists.
Flanders (includes 6 from Dutch Group in Brussels)
Note that the Catholics and N-VA had an electoral cartel here, as did the Socialists and the Social Liberals (then called Spirit)
Catholics 22.86% (-3.23%) winning 31 seats (+2)
Vlaams Belang 15.28% (-8.86%) winning 21 seats (-11)
Socialists 15.27% (-4.39%) winning 19 seats (-1)
Liberals 14.99% (-4.80%) winning 21 seats (-4)
New Flemish Alliance 13.06% (new) winning 16 seats (+10)
Lijst Dedecker 7.62% (new) winning 8 seats (+8)
Green 6.77% (-0.83%) winning 7 seats (+1)
Union of Francophones 1.15% (+0.08%) winning 1 seat (±0)
Social Liberals 1.09% (new) winning 0 seats (-5)
Secessionist/Nationalist Parties 35.96% (+11.82%)
The marking thing about the Flemish election is the decline of the major parties (CDV, VLD, SP) at the profit of right-wing nationalist parties, notably the N-VA (a very good result for them) and Dedecker (not so good, compared to polls which had him on 16% not so long ago). The current grand coalition (CDV, VLD, SP, and N-VA) led by Kris Peeters (CDV) will likely continue. However, the N-VA could drop out due to the Socialist’s reticences of working with them. Some have warned that the N-VA’s language policy (force everybody in Flanders, Francos included, to speak Dutch) and nationalism could be dangerous for Flanders’ international standing. However, the CDV base is still very attached to their former electoral partners.
Socialist 32.77% (-4.14%) winning 29 seats (-5)
Liberals 23.41% (-0.89%) winning 19 seats (-1)
Ecolo 18.54% (+10.02%) winning 14 seats (+11)
Catholics 16.14% (-1.48%) winning 13 seats (-1)
FN 2.86% (-5.26%) winning 0 seats (-4)
As in Flanders, the major parties took a hit in Wallonia, but to a lesser extent. The Socialists, yet again involved in scandals, held up remarkably well. While Ecolo’s result is not as good as they might have expected based on some polls which put them second, the party is the only winner in these elections and they’re the kingmakers. The Rudy Demotte (PS) coalition between the PS and the CDH has a majority, but the CDH has been very reticent to continuing it. They had productive talks with the liberal MR and they’re opening talks with the Ecolos, who seem to enjoy the courting they’ve recevied very much. A MR-CDH coalition does not have a majority, but a MR-CDH-Ecolo one obviously does. The MR has flat-out refused to form a grand coalition with the PS. A PS-Ecolo coalition also has a majority.
Brussels – French Seats
Liberals 29.82% (-2.68%) winning 24 seats (-1)
Socialist 26.24% (-7.10%) winning 21 seats (-5)
Ecolo 20.22% (+10.53%) winning 16 seats (+9)
Catholics 14.80% (+0.72%) winning 11 seats (+1)
FN 1.91% (-3.51%) winning 0 seats (-4)
The PS-CDH-Ecolo has a majority, but I doubt it will survive. Here, a MR-Ecolo, MR-CDH-Ecolo, or PS-Ecolo coalition all have majorities. I personally would put my money on a MR-led coalition.
Brussels – Dutch Seats
Liberals 23.07% (+3.17%) winning 4 seats (±0)
Vlaams Belang 17.51% (-16.56%) winning 3 seats (-3)
Socialists 19.46% (+1.78%) winning 4 seats (+1)
Catholics 14.85% (-1.92%) winning 3 seats (±0)
Green 11.20% (+1.4%) winning 2 seats (+1)
New Flemish Alliance 4.99% (new) winning 1 seat (+4)
Lijst Dedecker 3.78% (new) winning 0 seats (±0)
A so-called “Jamaican” coalition (using the German party colours, with black for Catholics and yellow for Liberals) has been formed between the VLD, CDV and Groen. The Flemish community in Brussels has two of the five portfolios and one of the three state secretary jobs but this government will govern the city’s Flemish Community Commission (in charge of linguistic affairs, education, healthcare from Flemings in Brussels). The old government was composed of the VLD and Socialists.
Catholics 27.02% (-5.77%) winning 7 seats (-1)
Socialists 19.30% (+0.29%) winning 5 seats (±0)
Liberals 17.52% (-3.47%) winning 4 seats (-1)
Ecolo 11.50% (+3.32%) winning 3 seats (+1)
ProDG (German minority party) 17.49% (+5.8%) winning 4 seats (+1)
Vivant 7.16% (-0.18%) winning 2 seats (±0)
The government of Belgium’s small German community has been formed. It is the same as before, a Socialist-Liberal-ProDG coalition led by Karl-Heinz Lambertz (Socialist).
Dutch-Language Electoral College
Note that the Catholics and N-VA had an electoral cartel here, as did the Socialists and the Social Liberals (then called Spirit)
Catholics 23.26% (-4.89%) winning 3 seats (nc)
Liberals 20.56% (-1.35%) winning 3 seats (-4)
Vlaams Belang 15.88% (-7.28%) winning 2 seats (-1)
Socialists 13.23% (-4.60%) winning 2 seats (-1)
New Flemish Alliance 9.88% (new) winning 1 seat (+1)
Green 7.9% (-0.08%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Lijst Dedecker 7.28% (new) winning 1 seat (+1)
These results, compared to the Flemish regionals, tell the popularity of Guy Verhofstadt, the former Prime Minister of Belgium. Verhofstadt was the VLD’s top candidate and could become a major player in future European politics.
French-Language Electoral College
Liberals 26.05% (-1.53%) winning 2 seats (-1)
Socialist 29.1% (-6.99%) winning 3 seats (-1)
Ecolo 22.88% (+13.03%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Catholics 13.34% (-1.80%) winning 1 seat (nc)
FN 3.57% (-3.88%) winning 0 seats (nc)
There seems to be much more facility in voting for a Green at the Euro level than at the regional level. Maybe it’s because Brussels is included, but there remains a higher Green vote at the Euro level than at the regional level. Maybe it’s because voters know that voting Green at the Euro level has quasi-null impact on the European Parliament, while they’re more skeptical of placing Greenies in power at a level which directly concerns them.
German-Language Electoral College
Catholics 32.25% (-10.23%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Liberals 20.37% (-2.42%)
Ecolo 15.58% (+5.09%)
Socialists 14.63% (-0.31%)
The German seat should use STV.
Europe 2009: Results
Here is the first post in a series of posts concerning the various Euro results from June 7. The results for the major parties winning seats (or not, in a few cases) are presented here, along with a very brief statistical analysis of what happened. If applicable, a map of the results is also presented. Again, except for the Germany map, all of these maps are my creations.
ÖVP 30% (-2.7%) winning 6 seats (nc)
SPÖ 23.8% (-9.5%) winning 4 seats (-3)
HP Martin’s List 17.7% (+3.7%) winning 3 seats (+1)
FPÖ 12.8% (+6.5%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Greens 9.7% (-3.2%) winning 2 seats (nc)
As I expected, the junior partner in government, the centre-right ÖVP came out on top but the most surprising was the ÖVP’s decisive margin of victory over its senior partner, the social democratic SPÖ. In fact, the SPÖ, like the German SPD, has won its worst result since 1945. This is probably due to a poor campaign a poor top candidate – Hannes Swoboda. Swoboda ranted against job losses and outsourcing when he himself did the same thing to his employees at Siemens. The good result came from Hans-Peter Martin’s anti-corruption outfit, which got a third seat and increased it’s vote. While improving on its poor 2004 result, the far-right FPÖ is far from the 17.5% it won in the 2008 federal elections. A lot is due to abstention (anti-Euro voters being a large contingent of the abstentionists) and also Martin’s success. The Greenies have unsurprisingly fallen, though they held their second seat due to late (and still incoming) postal votes. The BZÖ of the late Jorg Haider fell just short of the threshold, and it did not win Haider’s Carinthian stronghold. Turnout was 45.3%, slightly up on 2004.
GERB 24.36% (+2.68%) winning 5 seats (nc)
BSP 18.5% (-2.91%) winning 4 seats (-1)
DPS 14.14% (-6.12%) winning 3 seats (-1)
Attack 11.96% (-2.24%) winning 2 seats (-1)
NDSV 7.96% (+1.89%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Blue Coalition (UDF and DSB) 7.95% (-1.14%) winning 1 seat (+1)
The pro-European centre-right GERB won, as in 2007, defeating the Socialists (BSP, officialy grouped with smaller parties in the ‘Coalition for Bulgaria’). The Turkish minority party DPS fell significantly compared to its surprisingly excellent 2007 result. This is due to higher turnout and to competition (by Lider) in the very active vote buying market in Bulgaria. The liberal NDSV led by former Bulgarian monarch Simeon II came back from the dead to win 2 seats and increase its vote share – all this due to a top candidate who had a high personal profile and popularity in an election where person and popularity are very important.
Democratic Rally 35.7% (+7.5%) winning 2 seats
AKEL 34.9% (+7%) winning 2 seats
Democratic Party 12.3% (-4.8%) winning 1 seat
Movement for Social Democracy 9.9% (-0.9%) winning 1 seat (+1)
European Party 4.1% (-6.7%) winning 0 seats (-1)
To my surprise, the opposition centre-right (albeit pro-reunification) DISY defeated the governing communist AKEL. However, both parties increased their share of the vote compared to 2004, mainly on the back of the centrist anti-reunification DIKO and the Social Democrats (who won a seat due to the collapse of the liberal European Party).
Civic Democrats (ODS) 31.45% (+1.41%) winning 9 seats (±0)
Social Democrats (ČSSD) 22.38% (+13.6%) winning 7 seats (+5)
Communist Party (KSČM) 14.18% (-6.08%) winning 4 seats (-2)
KDU-ČSL 7.64% (-1.93%) winning 2 seats (±0)
Of the shocking results of the night, the Czech result was a shocker to me. I had predicted the Social Democrats to win all along (most polls agreed, albeit very late polls showed a narrow ODS lead), and you have this very large ODS victory that really comes out of the blue. This is really quite a piss poor result for the ČSSD and its controversial and, in my opinion, poor, leader, Jiří Paroubek. I wasn’t surprised by the results of either the Communists (on a tangent, the KSČM is the only formerly ruling communist party which hasn’t changed it name and it remains very much stuck in 1950) or the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL). The KSČM’s loses were predictable because 2004 was an especially fertile year for them (the ČSSD was in government, a very unpopular government). Two small parties which won seats in 2004 – the centre-right SNK European Democrats (11.02% and 2 seats) and the far-right populist Independents (8.18% and 2 seats) suffered a very painful death this year. The SNK polled 1.66%, the Independents (most of which were Libertas candidates) won 0.54%. The Greens, a parliamentary party, won a very deceiving result – 2.06%. This is probably due to turnout, which remained at 28%.
Social Democrats 21.49 % (-11.1%) winning 4 seats (-1)
Venstre 20.24% (+0.9%) winning 3 seats (nc)
Socialist People’s Party 15.87% (+7.9%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Danish People’s Party 15.28% (+8.5%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Conservative People’s Party 12.69% (+1.3%) winning 1 seat (nc)
People’s Movement Against the EU 7.20% (+2.0%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Social Liberal Party 4.27% (-2.1%) winning 0 seats (-1)
June Movement 2.37% (-6.7%) winning 0 seats (-1)
Liberal Alliance 0.59%
Red: SD, Blue: Venstre, Purple: SF, Green: DF
No real surprise in the Danish results, which were as I expected them to be. The Social Democrats drop compared to their superb 2004 showing was to be expected, obviously. Obviously, these loses were profitable not to the government (Venstre, Liberals) but to the Socialists (SF) and the far-right (DF). SF and DF have won their best result in any Danish election, either European or legislative. The June Movement, the second anti-EU movement which is in decline since it’s shock 16% in 1999, has lost its sole remaining MEP. The older (and leftier) People’s Movement has picked up some of the June Movement’s vote, though its results are far from excellent. Despite an electoral alliance with the Social Democrats, the Social Liberals (Radikal Venstre) lost its MEP.
Centre 26.1% winning 2 seats (+1)
Indrek Tarand (Ind) 25.8% winning 1 seat (+1)
Reform 15.3% winning 1 seat (±0)
Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica 12.2% winning 1 seat (±0)
Social Democrats 8.7% winning 1 seat (-2)
Estonian Greens 2.7%
Turnout was up 17% in Estonia over 2004, reaching 44% (26.8% in 2004), correcting the weird result of 2004 which saw the normally weak Social Democrats come out on top. However, the surprising result here was Reform’s rout (compared to the 2007 general elections) at the profit of Indrek Tarand, a popular independent. The opposition Centre Party, however, came out on top. However, the map clearly shows that Tarand took votes from all places – Centre, Reform, right, Greenies (winning a very deceiving 2.7%), and Social Democrats. The Centre came out on top purely due to the Russian vote in Ida-Viru and in Tallinn, the capital (despite the name, the Centre performs very well in urban areas – it’s not at all a rural centrist party a la Finland).
National Coalition 23.2% (-0.5%) winning 3 seats (-1)
Centre 19% (-4.4%) winning 3 seats (-1)
Social Democratic Party 17.5% (-3.7%) winning 2 seats (-1)
Greens 12.4% (+2%) winning 2 seats (+1)
True Finns 9.8% (+9.3%) winning 1 seat (+1)
Swedish People’s Party 6.1% (+0.4%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Left Alliance 5.9% (-3.2%) winning 0 seats (-1)
Christian Democrats 4.2% (-0.1%) winning 1 seat (+1)
No surprises from Finland, which came out roughly as expected. The junior partner in government, the centre-right National Coalition (Kok) defeated its senior partner, the agrarian liberal Centre Party. However, the Finnish left (SDP and Left) suffered a very cold shower, winning its worst result in years. The Left even lost its sole MEP. A lot of that left-wing vote probably went to the Greenies (who won a very good result) and also the anti-immigration True Finns (in coalition with the Christian Democrats, which allowed the Christiandems to get one MEP). The Swedish People’s Party ended up holding its seat. The map is quite typical of Finnish elections, with the agrarian Centre dominating in the sparsely populated north and the National Coalition dominating in middle-class urban (Helsinki, where they narrowly beat out the Greenies for first) and suburban areas. The Swedish vote is concentrated on the Åland islands (over 80% of the vote for them) but also in small fishing communities on the west coast of Finland (which does not show up on the map).
CDU/CSU 30.7% + 7.2% (-6.6%) winning 42 seats (-7)
SPD 20.8% (-0.7%) winning 23 seats (nc)
Greens 12.1% (+0.2%) winning 14 seats (+1)
Free Democrats 11% (+4.9%) winning 12 seats (+5)
The Left 7.6% (+1.5%) winning 8 seats (+1)
In the EU’s most populated country, the Social Democrats took a major hit by failing to gain anything after the SPD’s horrible (worst since 1945) result in 2004. Overall, the Christian Democrats (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel and its Bavarian sister, the CSU, won as in 2004 but their vote also took a hit (the CDU/CSU was a popular opposition party then, they’re the senior government party now). The winners were of course the Greens, who held on to their remarkable 2004 result and in fact gained a 14th MEP, but certainly the right-liberal Free Democrats (FDP). The Left also gained slightly compared to 2004. The Left’s map remains largely a map of the old DDR but, for the first time, you have darker shades appearing in the West – specifically in the industrial regions of the Saar, the Ruhr and Bremen city. In the end the CSU had no problems with the 5% threshold and they won a relatively decent (compared to most recent results, not 2004 or 2006) result – 48% – in Bavaria. Frei Wahler took 6.7% in Bavaria, and 1.7% federally.
PASOK 36.64% (+2.61%) winning 8 seats (nc)
New Democracy 32.29% (-10.72%) winning 8 seats (-3)
Communist Party 8.35% (-1.13%) winning 2 seats (-1)
Popular Orthodox Rally 7.14% (+3.02%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Coalition of the Radical Left 4.7% (+0.54%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Ecologist Greens 3.49% (+2.88%) winning 1 seat (+1)
Pan-Hellenic Macedonian Front 1.27%
No Greek surprise overall, though the Greenies’ poor result could be one. As expected, the opposition ‘socialist’ PASOK defeated the governing unpopular and corrupt right-wing New Democracy. However, there remains no great love for PASOK, partly due to the fact that both ND and PASOK are very similar. The Communist Party (KKE), one of Europe’s most communist communist parties (it still lives in 1951, decrying bourgeois and capitalists), won 8.35%, slightly above its 2007 electoral result but below the KKE’s excellent 2004 result (over 9%). The surprise came from LAOS and the Greens. The Greenies, who were polling 8-11% in the last polls, fell to a mere 3% partly due to a controversial video by the Green Party leader who said that Macedonia (FYROM, the country) should be allowed to keep its name (s0mething which does not go down well in Greece). Most of the Green strength in polls came from disenchanted ND supporters who ended up voting LAOS (the ultra-Orthodox kooks). The Radical Left (SYRIZA) won a rather poor result, probably due to the fact that it is seen as responsible for the violence and lootings during the 2008 riots in Athens.
Fidesz 56.36% winning 14 seats (+2)
Socialist 17.37% winning 4 seats (-5)
Jobbik 14.77% winning 3 seats (+3)
Hungarian Democratic Forum 5.31% winning 1 seat (nc)
The surprise in Hungary came from the spectacular result of the far-right quasi-Nazi Jobbik (which has its own private militia), which did much better than any poll or exit poll had predicted. Jobbik’s results significantly weakened the conservative Fidesz which won “only” 56% (down from 65-70% in some polls). The governing Socialist MSZP took a spectacular thumping, as was widely expected. While the right-wing MDF held its seat, the liberal SZDSZ (f0rmer coalition partner in the MSZP-led government until 2008) lost both of its seats.
Fine Gael 29.1% (+1.3%) winning 4 seats (-1)
Fianna Fáil 24.1% (-5.4%) winning 3 seats (-1)
Labour 13.9% (+3.4%) winning 3 seats (+2)
Sinn Féin 11.2% (+0.1%) winning 0 seats (-1)
Libertas 3.1% (new) winning 0 seats (new)
Socialist 1.5% (+0.2%) winning 1 seat (+1)
Green Party 1.1% (-3.2%)
As expected, Fine Gael came out on top of FPVs in Ireland, inflicting a major defeat on the governing Fianna Fáil. Fianna Fáil, did not, however, slip to third behind Labour as some pollsters made it seem. This is due in a large part due to Labour’s complete lack of organization in most rural areas. In Dublin, both Fine Gael and Labour incumbents made it through without much sweat. The race, as expected, was for the third seat between the Fianna Fáil incumbent (Eoin Ryan), Socialist leader Joe Higgins and the Sinn Féin incumbent (Mary Lou McDonald). Surprisingly, Sinn Féin was the first out leaving the final seat between Ryan and Higgins. In the end, Higgins got the quasi-entirety of McDonald’s transferable votes and defeated Ryan with 82,366 votes against 76,956 votes for Ryan on the 7th count. Former Greenie (against the party’s participation in government) Patricia McKenna won 4.3% on first preferences against 4.7% against the official Greenie (however, further transfers from joke candidates got McKenna all the way to count 5, while the Greenie got out by count 3). In the East, Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness got elected on the first count, quite the feat indeed. However, no luck for Fine Gael’s second candidate in holding the third seat held by a retiring Fine Gael incumbent. Labour’s Nessa Childers, second on first prefs, far outpolled John Paul Phelan (FG’s second candidate) and got the second seat. Fianna Fáil held its seat. In the North-West, all incumbents (1 Independent ALDE, 1 FF, 1 FG) held their seats with Marian Harkin (Ind-ALDE) topping the poll (however, both Fianna Fáil candidates combined outpolled him and Fine Gael’s MEP). The founder and leader of Libertas, Declan Ganley polled a respectable 13.66% on FPVs and held out till the last count but lost out to Fine Gael due to rather poor transfers from the other anti-Lisbon outfit, SF. In the South, FF incumbent Brian Crowley topped the poll and won easily, as did Sean Kelly (FG). The third seat was between the incumbent Independent (eurosceptic and social conservative) Kathy Sinnott and Labour’s Alan Kelly. Kelly won.
In the local elections, the final seat share is as follows:
Fine Gael 340 seats (+47)
Fianna Fáil 218 seats (-84)
Labour 132 seats (+31)
Others and Indies 132 seats (+40)
Sinn Féin 54 seats (nc)
Socialist 4 seats (nc)
Green Party 3 seats (-15)
Full breakdown by county and city
People of Freedom 35.26% winning 29 seats
Democratic Party 26.13% winning 21 seats
Lega Nord 10.20% winning 9 seats
Italy of Values 8.00% winning 7 seats
Union of the Centre 6.51% winning 5 seats
Communists (PRC+PdCI) 3.38% winning 0 seats
Sinistra e Libertà 3.12% winning 0 seats
Italian Radicals (Bonino-Pannella List) 2.42% winning 0 seats
Pole of Autonomy (La Destra+MPA) 2.22% winning 0 seats
South Tyrolean’s People Party 0.46% winning 1 seat
Berlusconi Coalition (PdL+LN+Autonomy) 47.68% winning 38 seats
PD Coalition (PD-SVP+IdV+Radicals) 37.01% winning 29 seats
Red: PD, Blue: PdL, Green: Lega Nord, Yellow in Aosta Valley: Valdotanian Union (PdL ally), Yellow in Sudtirol: SVP (PD ally)
The Italian results were certainly a setback for Silvio Berlusconi and his “party”, the PdL, which performed a bit lower than what he and polls had expected (38-41% range). The centre-left PD did relatively well, and this will atleast keep the party from splitting up into the old Democrats of the Left and the Daisy. In terms of coalitions, the two large parliamentary blocs stand almost exactly where they stood overall in 2008, with a very very slight improvement for Berlusconi’s coalition. The marking result of this election is probably that of Lega Nord, which has won its best result in any national Italian election (narrowly beating its previous record, 10.1% in the 1996 general election). The Lega has expanded its support to the “south” (north-central Italy), notably polling 11% in Emilia-Romagna and 4% in Tuscany. The support and future of Lega Nord is to be watched closely in the future, due to a potential new electoral law which could significantly hinder it’s parliamentary representation (more on that later). The other good result is from Antonio di Pietro’s strongly anti-Berlusconi and anti-corruption populist Italia dei Valori, which has won its best result ever, by far. It has almost doubled its support since last year’s general election. After being shutout of Parliament in 2008, the Communists and other leftie parties (Socialists and Greens) are now out of the European Parliament, depsite improving quite a bit on the Rainbow’s 2008 result. Of the two coalitions, the old Communist one made up of the Refoundation Commies and the smaller Italian Commies polled slightly better than the Sinistra e libertà, the “New Left” coalition (Greenies, Socialists, moderate “liberal” Commies). Such was to be expected, but the irony is that both leftie coalitions were formed to surpass the new 4% threshold, and none did. However, if there had been a new Rainbow coalition (the 2008 Rainbow included both the hardline Commies and the New Left), they would have made it. As expected, those small parties which won seats in 2004 due to the old electoral law have been eliminated. These include the fascists, La Destra-Sicilian autonomists/crooks, and the Radicals. The South Tyrolean SVP only held its seat due to an electoral clause which allows these “minority parties” to ally with a party to win a seat. The SVP was the only one of these which was successful in doing so. Two smaller Valdotanian parties (one allied with PdL, the other with IdV) failed to win a seat. In provincial elections held the same days, the right was very successful and of the forty provinces decided by the first round, they had won 26 against 14 for the left. 22 provinces will have a runoff. I might do a post on that if I have time.
Civic Union 24.33% winning 2 seats (+2)
Harmony Centre 19.57% winning 2 seats (+2)
PCTVL – For Human Rights in United Latvia 9.66% winning 1 seat (nc)
Latvia’s First Party/Latvia’s Way 7.5% winning 1 seat (nc)
For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK 7.45% winning 1 seat (-3)
New Era 6.66% winning 1 seat (-1)
Latvian politics are very confusing, mostly due to the huge swings. This time was no different. A new party, Civic Union (probably EPP) topped the poll over the Harmony Centre, a Russian minority outfit. The PCTVL, another Russian outfit, fell slightly compared to its 11% result in 2004, but remained remarkably stable. TB/LNNK, a UEN party which topped the poll in 2004 fell down three seats. The conservative New Era, senior party in the governing coalition, won only 7% (a lot of its members, along with TB/LNNK members apparently joined the Civic Union). The People’s Party, the senior party in the old coalition which fell apart this year due to the economic crisis won barely 2%. The Union of Greens and Farmers, which won something like 16% in the 2006 election polled a mere 3.7%.
Homeland Union-LKD 26.16% winning 4 seats (+2)
Lithuanian Social Democrats 18.12% winning 3 seats (+1)
Order and Justice 11.9% winning 2 seats (+1)
Labour Party 8.56% winning 1 seat (-4)
Poles’ Electoral Action 8.21% winning 1 seat (+1)
Liberals Movement 7.17% winning 1 seat (+1)
Liberal and Centre Union 3.38% winning 0 seats (-1)
Remarkable stability for a Baltic nation in Lithuania. The winner of the 2008 election, the Homeland Union (TS-LKD) won a rather convincing victory, improving on its 2008 result (only 19.6%) and obviously on its 2004 Euro result (12.6%). The LSDP has picked up an extra seat and has cemented its place as the opposition to the TS-LKD, along with the third-placed populist Order and Justice. Labour, the centrist party which won the 2004 Euro election has seen its seat share cut down from 5 to one, a logical follow-up to its collapse in 2008. The Poles have probably benefited from low turnout (21%) to motivate their base and won an outstanding 8.2% and elected one MEP. I don’t really follow Baltic politics, but if I remember correctly, a government rarely wins re-election, so if that’s true, the result of the TS-LKD is even more remarkable.
Christian Social Party 31.3% (-5.8%) winning 3 seats
Socialist 19.5% (-2.5%) winning 1 seat
Democratic Party 18.6% (+3.7%) winning 1 seat
The Greens 16.8% (+1.8%) winning 1 seat
Alternative Democratic Reform 7.4% (-0.6%)
The Left 3.4% (+1.7%)
Communist Party 1.5% (+0.3%)
Citizens’ List 1.4%
Remarkable and unsurprising political stability in Luxembourg, with no changes in seat distribution. While the CSV and LSAP suffer minor swings against them, the DP and Greens get small positive swings. The Greens’ result is their best ever and one of the best Green results in European elections.
On election night last week, I also covered the simultaneous general election. Here are, again, the full results.
CSV 38% (+1.9%) winning 26 seats (+2)
LSAP 21.6% (-1.8%) winning 13 seats (-1)
DP 15% (-1.1%) winning 9 seats (-1)
Greens 11.7% (+0.1%) winning 7 seats (nc)
ADR 8.1% (-1.8%) winning 4 seats (-1)
Left 3.3% (+1.4%) winning 1 seat (+1)
KPL 1.5% (+0.6%)
Labour 54.77% winning 3 seats (nc)
Nationalist 40.49% winning 2 seats (nc)
Obviously no surprise in tiny Malta, where the opposition Labour Party has defeated the governing Nationalist Party. Both sides made gains in terms of votes, feeding off the collapse of the green Democratic Alternative (AD), which won a remarkable 10% in 2004 but a mere 2.3% this year.
Civic Platform 44.43% (+20.33%) winning 25 seats (+10)
Law and Justice 27.4% (+14.73%) winning 15 seats (+8)
Democratic Left Alliance-Labour Union 12.34% (+2.99%) winning 7 seats (+2)
Peasant Party 7.07% (+0.67%) winning 3 seats (-1)
Map by electoral constituency. Key same as above table
Polish politics move quickly, but it seems that this ‘setup’ is here to stay, atleast for some time. The governing right-liberal pro-European Civic Platform (led by PM Donald Tusk) has won a crushing victory over the national-conservative eurosceptic Law and Justice of President Lech Kaczyński. PO’s margin of victory is slightly larger than its already important victory in the 2008 elections. The SLD-UP electoral alliance, which is what remains of the Left and Democrats (LiD) coalition of the 2008 election (encompassing SLD-UP but also a small fake liberal party), won 12%, the average result of the Polish left these days. The Peasant Party, PO’s junior partner in government, won slightly fewer votes than in 2008 (or the 2004 Eur0s). The 2004 Euros, marked by the excellent result of the ultra-conservative League of Polish Families (LPR, now Libertas) and the left-wing populist Samoobrona saw both of these parties collapse. Libertas-LPR won 1.14% and Samoobrona won 1.46%. Smaller ultra-conservative jokes also did very poorly. After the 2004-2006 episode, sanity seems to have returned to Polish politics.
Social Democratic Party 31.7% winning 8 seats (+1)
Socialist Party 26.6% winning 7 seats (-5)
Left Bloc 10.7% winning 3 seats (+2)
CDU: Communist Party-Greens 10.7% winning 2 seats (nc)
Democratic and Social Centre-People’s Party 8.4% winning 2 seats (nc)
Blue: PSD, Red: PS, Green: CDU (PCP-PEV)
Cold shower for the governing Portuguese Socialists after the huge victory of the 2004 Euros. The centre-right PSD has won a major victory by defeating the PS, albeit a relatively small margin between the two. The lost votes of the PS flowed to the Left Bloc (the Trotskyst and more libertarian component of the far-left) and the CDU (the older and more old-style communist component of the far-left), both of which won a remarkable 21.4% together. These voters voted BE or CDU due to the PS’ economic policies, which are far from traditional left-wing economic policies. The PS will need to fight hard, very hard, to win the upcoming general elections in September.
Social Democratic Party+Conservative Party 31.07% winning 11 seats (+1)
Democratic Liberal Party 29.71% winning 10 seats (-6)
National Liberal Party 14.52% winning 5 seats (-1)
UDMR 8.92% winning 3 seats (+1)
Greater Romania Party 8.65% winning 3 seats (+3)
Elena Băsescu (Ind PD-L) 4.22% winning 1 seat (+1)
The close race in Romania between the two government parties ended in the victory of the junior partner, the PSD with a rather mediocre 31%. The PDL’s 30% was also rather mediocre. The PNL also did quite poorly. The two winners are the Hungarian UDMR, which won a rather remarkable 9%, probably benefiting from high Hungarian turnout in a very low turnout election. The far-right Greater Romania Party overcame past setbacks and won three seats and a surprisingly good 8.7%. This is due in part to the participation of the far-right quasi-fascist PNG-CD on its list (the party’s leader, the very controversial Gigi Becali, was the party’s second candidate on the list). László Tőkés, an Hungarian independent elected in 2007 (sat in the Green-EFA group) has been re-elected as the top candidate on the UDMR list.
Smer-SD 32.01% winning 5 seats (+2)
Slovak Democratic and Christian Union–Democratic Party (SDKÚ-DS) 16.98% winning 2 seats (-1)
Party of the Hungarian Coalition 11.33% winning 2 seats (±0)
Christian Democratic Movement 10.87% winning 2 seats (-1)
People’s Party–Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (ĽS-HZDS) 8.97% winning 1 seat (-2)
Slovak National Party 5.55% winning 1 seat (+1)
Smer’s result is definitely deceiving for them and possibly a sign that their past stellar poll ratings will slide to the benefit of the opposition SDKÚ-DS. However, the SDKÚ-DS (but also the KDH and obviously the ĽS-HZDS) have slid back compared to their 2004 Euro results. While the collapse of the ĽS-HZDS (formerly led by former quasi-dictator Vladimír Mečiar) is good news, the entry of the quasi-fascist Slovak National Party, Smer’s charming coalition partners, is not. However, the SNS’ 5.6% is not the 10% it used to poll and hopefully they stay low.
Slovenian Democratic Party 26.89% winning 2 seats (nc)
Social Democrats 18.48% winning 2 seats (+1)
New Slovenia 16.34% winning 1 seat (-1)
Liberal Democracy 11.52% winning 1 seat (-1)
Zares 9.81% winning 1 seat (+1)
In Slovenia, the oppostion centre-right SDS has defeated the ruling Social Democrats. Here again, the current political setup between SDS on the right and SD on the left, a rather new setup, seems set to stay for a few years. The NSi, which won the 2004 election, and the LDS, which used to dominate Slovenian politics, have both slumped back. The new liberal Zares won 9.8%, roughly its level in the 2008 election.
People’s Party42.23% (+1.02%) winning 23 seats (-1)
Socialist 38.51% (-4.95%) winning 21 seats (-4)
Coalition for Europe (EAJ-CiU-CC) 5.12% (-0.03%) winning 2 seats [1 EAJ, 1 CiU] (±0)
The Left 3.73% (-0.38%) winning 2 seats (±0)
Union, Progress and Democracy 2.87% winning 1 seat (+1)
Europe of Peoples 2.5% (+0.05%) winning 1 seat (±0)
As expected, the conservative PP defeated the governing PSOE, but due to the polarized nature of Spanish politics, no landslide here. However, the PSOE definitely polled poorly, though the PP didn’t do that great either. The regionalists held their ground well, and CiU got some little gains going in Catalonia. Aside from UPyD’s narrow entry and the obvious PP gains, it was generally status-quo.
Social Democrats 24.41% (-0.15%) winning 5 seats (nc)
Moderate Party 18.83% (+0.58%) winning 4 seats (nc)
Liberal People’s Party 13.58% (+3.72%) winning 3 seats (+1)
Greens 11.02% (+5.06%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Pirate Party 7.13% (new) winning 1 seat (+1)
Left 5.66% (-7.14%) winning 1 seat (-1)
Centre 5.47% (-0.79%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Christian Democrats 4.68% (-1.01%) winning 1 seat (nc)
June List 3.55% (-10.92%) winning 0 seats (-3)
Sweden Democrats 3.27% (+2.14%)
Feminist Initiative 2.22%
First map: Parties (SD in red, M in blue) – Second Map: Coalitions (Red-Green in red, Alliance in blue)
The Swedish results must come as a major deception for both major parties, the Social Democrats and the governing Moderates. Both had done horribly in 2004 and the 2009 results are no improvements for either of them. In fact, the opposition SD has in fact dropped a few votes more from the 2004 disaster. These loses profit to the smaller parties in their respective coalitions (Red-Green for the SD, Alliance for M). The Liberals did very well, unexpectedly well in fact, and elected a third MEP. The Greens drew votes from Red-Green voters dissatisfied by the unpopular SD leader, Mona Sahlin, and its vote share increased by 5%. Of course, Sweden is now famous for electing one Pirate MEP, and even a second MEP if Sweden gets additional MEPs as planned by the Treaty of Lisbon. The Left’s vote fell significantly from its good showing in 2004, while the vote for smaller coalition parties – the Centre and Christian Democrats also slid a bit. The eurosceptic June List, which had won 14% in 2004, fell to a mere 3.6% and lost its 3 MEPs. However, this result might have prevented the far-right Sweden Democrats from picking up a seat. The Feminists, who had one MEP after a Liberal defection, won a surprisingly decent 2%, far better than what polls had in store for them. In terms of coalitions, the governing Alliance actually won with 42.56% against 41.09% for the opposition Red-Greens.
Longer, special posts concerning the Euro elections in Belgium, France and the UK will be posted in the coming days.
Nova Scotia (Canada) 2009
Nova Scotians voted on June 9 to renew the 52 seats in the provincial House of Assembly. As widely expected (by pollsters and pundits), the opposition New Democrats (NDP) swept to power in a crushing landslide both in terms of votes and seats. The governing Progressive Conservatives (PC), led by outgoing Premier Rodney MacDonald, were pushed to a pitiful third place behind the Liberals (who posted minor gains).
Here are the full results:
New Democrats 45.26% (+10.63%) winning 31 seats (+11)
Liberal 27.22% (+3.78%) winning 11 seats (+2)
PC 24.52% (-15.05%) winning 10 seats (-13)
Greens 2.33% (nc)
Independents 0.67% (+0.63%)
And below is the fabled map of the result:
Some surprising results on here. The NDP seems to have peaked in the Halifax-Dartmouth area. In fact, they actually lost Dartmouth-East to the Liberals and they haven’t won back the seat of Preston (large black community), which the NDP used to win in the past. The largest swings to the NDP were in rural areas – such as Cumberland North – definitely a big surprise. Cumberland North could be explained by the formerly PC-now-Independent MLA and the official PC candidate splitting the vote (their sum is superior to the number of votes cast for the NDP candidate), but the swing to the NDP there was undeniably quite massive. Also massive was the swing to NDP in Sydney (both seats are 70%+ NDP). I don’t know much about how the Cape Breton economy is doing now, but could it be an economic factor? The Liberal seats on the southwest coast have become ridiculously safe (huge margins, maybe a favourite son effect since the Liberal leader is from the region).
For those who like historical tidbits, this is the first NDP government in the Atlantic Provinces (and the first east of Ontario).